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Calvinism - The most wicked system ever invented

beebert

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Can we all affirm this? I know many of you agree this monstrous invention is false. But it is more Than that. It is a very dangerous, extremely wicked, impious system of ultimate stupidity. This almost needs to be written on walls. Calvinism is a pagan religion of fate, it is a materialistic system that actually denies God. There are so many Points at which this evil invention can be criticised. Calvinism does not understand that Jesus and God are of the same essence. It think it does , but obviously that it not the case. It is wrong in a blasphemous way on the incarnation, the Trinity, soteriology,  the Nature of God. EVERYTHING. And its founder was as Close to a pharisee as one could come. He was unmerciful, pitiless and uncharitable and by his action and thought seems to have proved that he believed Only in the God and Christ of his own invention and imagination, since what he did to sinners was the opposite to what Christ did. This is just unacceptable. I know about calvinists who discuss whether it is correct to consider catholics their Brothers and sisters in Christ. The question is rather if it is correct to consider calvinists who truly Believe in their heavenly egoistic and utallitarian system as brothers and sisters in Christ. To me, when really diving in to what believing in this system actually means, I consider it to be among the worst ideologies on Earth, almost as evil as nazism and racism, since calvinists turn God in to a sadistic demiurge and monster dictator. THIS is just blasphemous and I thank God I am starting to realize the wickedness behind this stupid delusion. Calvinism does not reveal who God is. It reveals what their followers are like if they truly Believe this. Either brainwashed or sadistic egoists.
 

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Many of our members are cradle Orthodox (with a handful of cradle Catholics thrown in) and don't even know what Calvinism is, let alone care.

Seriously, let it go.
 

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Arachne said:
Many of our members are cradle Orthodox (with a handful of cradle Catholics thrown in) and don't even know what Calvinism is, let alone care.

Seriously, let it go.
Those who do not know what calvinism is can celebrate
 

Alpha60

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Arachne said:
Many of our members are cradle Orthodox (with a handful of cradle Catholics thrown in) and don't even know what Calvinism is, let alone care.

Seriously, let it go.
+1

I know many Calvinists who are virtuous and compassionate Christians, loving people.  Some of them are more generous and loving than some less pious members of the Orthodox church.  Consider the large number of Presbyterian Hospitals in the United States.

Let's refrain from hating the heterodox. We can explain to them our concerns over aspects of their faith (you raise the question of predestination, for example), but we should not do so in a manner that amounts to an ad hominem attack on all Calvinists according to their person; this would be cruel and also in my opinion wrongheaded (consider, among the religious views less desirable than Calvinism, Salafist Islam, Bolshevist or militant Atheism, the bloodthirsty pagan religions of Rome, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia, the bloodthirstier pagan religions of the various tribes, and the sanguinary Aztec faith, including its grotesque modern day reincarnation as Santa Muerte).

We should, especially in Lent, focus on being the best Orthodox Christians we can be, and refrain from basking in our personal glory and superiority to the heterodox.  Yes, we are the true church and they are tragically separated from us, but that does not give us the right to just write off every single member of their religion as some sort of subhuman psychopath, or even to presume an automatic moral superior (it is sadly sometimes the case that some heterodox churches outperform the Orthodox in terms of charitable giving, adherence to Christian virtue, compassion for the poor, and so on).

We need to love Calvinists and approach them in love to draw them into the holy Church.  Calvinism was anathematized by the synod of Dositheus in 1672, the Orthodox Church has rejected it, and in our dialogue with Calvinists we have ample explanations as to why.  Many Calvinists come to Orthodoxy of their own accord.  As Metropolitan Kallistos Ware points out, negative proselytism (of the sort some fundamentalist Calvinists use vs. Rome, Arminians, and so on, the nadir being Westboro Baptist Church), is "profoundly unorthodox."  A parish priest of mine told me once that no one can ever be argued into Orthodoxy.  The solution to Calvinism is gentle, loving and honest dialogue.

There is a beautiful blog for that, too: the Orthodox-Reformed Bridge.  Check it out.  Many Calvinists are engaging with Orthodoxy and ultimately joining us.  I expect that as the mainline Calvinist churches like the Church of Scotland, the PCUSA, UCC, United Reformed Church, the Dutch Reformed Church, and indeed Anglicanism (which is partially Calvinistic) wither, many of their members and possibly entire parishes or breakaway groups will be received into Orthodoxy.  Just pray for Calvinists and love them.

Meanwhile lets also try and see to it that there are Orthodox Christian hospitals and charities with a more visible prsence in the West, open to all, so that we break out of the mold of being an ethnocentric church and demonstrate our commitment to Christian values and our love for all Christians.  I don't like it that near me there is a Presbyterian Hospital, several Adventist hospitals, several Catholic hospitals, and a Jewish hospital, and a Methodist university, but no prominent Orthodox charitable institutions (we need more visible humanitarian works; the Order of St. Ignatius in the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America should be a model; their projects in Latin America saved the lives of thousands of impoverished teenagers who risked dying of exposure, disease or starvation, among other works).

Most Calvinism see charitable giving as a sign of Election to Salvation, and many feel Biblically comanded to tithe, and as a result, their charitable works have historically been pretty good, perhaps not as good as the vast Roman Catholic charitable empire, but nonetheless, pretty good.
 

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beebert said:
Arachne said:
Many of our members are cradle Orthodox (with a handful of cradle Catholics thrown in) and don't even know what Calvinism is, let alone care.

Seriously, let it go.
Those who do not know what calvinism is can celebrate
As referenced in my previous post, this blog shows us how we should relate to Calvinists successfully in dialogue:

https://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxbridge/
 

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Alpha60 said:
Arachne said:
Many of our members are cradle Orthodox (with a handful of cradle Catholics thrown in) and don't even know what Calvinism is, let alone care.

Seriously, let it go.
+1

I know many Calvinists who are virtuous and compassionate Christians, loving people.  Some of them are more generous and loving than some less pious members of the Orthodox church.  Consider the large number of Presbyterian Hospitals in the United States.

Let's refrain from hating the heterodox. We can explain to them our concerns over aspects of their faith (you raise the question of predestination, for example), but we should not do so in a manner that amounts to an ad hominem attack on all Calvinists according to their person; this would be cruel and also in my opinion wrongheaded (consider, among the religious views less desirable than Calvinism, Salafist Islam, Bolshevist or militant Atheism, the bloodthirsty pagan religions of Rome, Greece, Egypt and Mesopotamia, the bloodthirstier pagan religions of the various tribes, and the sanguinary Aztec faith, including its grotesque modern day reincarnation as Santa Muerte).

We should, especially in Lent, focus on being the best Orthodox Christians we can be, and refrain from basking in our personal glory and superiority to the heterodox.  Yes, we are the true church and they are tragically separated from us, but that does not give us the right to just write off every single member of their religion as some sort of subhuman psychopath, or even to presume an automatic moral superior (it is sadly sometimes the case that some heterodox churches outperform the Orthodox in terms of charitable giving, adherence to Christian virtue, compassion for the poor, and so on).

We need to love Calvinists and approach them in love to draw them into the holy Church.  Calvinism was anathematized by the synod of Dositheus in 1672, the Orthodox Church has rejected it, and in our dialogue with Calvinists we have ample explanations as to why.  Many Calvinists come to Orthodoxy of their own accord.  As Metropolitan Kallistos Ware points out, negative proselytism (of the sort some fundamentalist Calvinists use vs. Rome, Arminians, and so on, the nadir being Westboro Baptist Church), is "profoundly unorthodox."  A parish priest of mine told me once that no one can ever be argued into Orthodoxy.  The solution to Calvinism is gentle, loving and honest dialogue.

There is a beautiful blog for that, too: the Orthodox-Reformed Bridge.  Check it out.  Many Calvinists are engaging with Orthodoxy and ultimately joining us.  I expect that as the mainline Calvinist churches like the Church of Scotland, the PCUSA, UCC, United Reformed Church, the Dutch Reformed Church, and indeed Anglicanism (which is partially Calvinistic) wither, many of their members and possibly entire parishes or breakaway groups will be received into Orthodoxy.  Just pray for Calvinists and love them.

Meanwhile lets also try and see to it that there are Orthodox Christian hospitals and charities with a more visible prsence in the West, open to all, so that we break out of the mold of being an ethnocentric church and demonstrate our commitment to Christian values and our love for all Christians.  I don't like it that near me there is a Presbyterian Hospital, several Adventist hospitals, several Catholic hospitals, and a Jewish hospital, and a Methodist university, but no prominent Orthodox charitable institutions (we need more visible humanitarian works; the Order of St. Ignatius in the Antiochian Orthodox Church of North America should be a model; their projects in Latin America saved the lives of thousands of impoverished teenagers who risked dying of exposure, disease or starvation, among other works).

Most Calvinism see charitable giving as a sign of Election to Salvation, and many feel Biblically comanded to tithe, and as a result, their charitable works have historically been pretty good, perhaps not as good as the vast Roman Catholic charitable empire, but nonetheless, pretty good.
I am not Calling myself morally superior. I am a wicked sinner myself. I do apologize if I went a bit to far. Of Course I do not intend to judge calvinists as persons. But I do not hesitate on saying that the belief system is absolutely wicked and seems to be the height of imodesty . I know how much calvinism has destroyed the Lives of plenty of sensitive young people to the Point of driving them to suicide. It is the opposite of the gospel. That is all I am saying. Christ Said "I want mercy, not sacrifice". Calvinism has historically been a system that says the opposite. Mercy for a few selected, but the rest can go straight to hell. The idea that charitable works is the proof of "my own eternal election", like if Ones OWN election is the only thing that matters, is nothing but utalitarianism. I am not disgusted by calvinists. I am diagusted by calvinism. Sorry if I brought this up. I am just shaken after having read for example Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the hands of an angry God". When something is evil, I think that needs to be pointed out. Otherwise the Life of many poor souls Will be destroyed by the trauma of having heard this poisonous view of life.  If the calvinist view of things is what is preached to People who do not believe, I honestly can not blame them for staying that way. I doubt that Charity within calvinism is even the slightest proof of goodness in its beliefs, except that it confirms Christ is the son of God and the savior of mankind (well of some People he has chosen in spite of their actions). Secularism have also done a lot of charitable work
 

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Yes and so focus all your energy and attention on Orthodoxy, and leave the false Calvinism alone. Its very good you know it is false, it would be good to move on and give it no more of your time or thought :)

Of course its very good if anyone asked you in the future and you state it is false, or help others in their struggle out of it, but otherwise it would be best to not give it anymore place in your heart.
 

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Not to say Calvinism is the bees knees, but what about Marxism-Leninism? I think that is a worse ideology, and some could argue fascism as well. I think you're stretching things a little. Calvinism is really bad, no doubt. But when I was an Evangelical (baptized Lutheran though,) who had Calvinist tendencies, I wasn't nearly as bad when I was a nihilistic militant atheist and Marxist Trotskyite. Seriously.

Just trying to play devil's advocate.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Not to say Calvinism is the bees knees, but what about Marxism-Leninism? I think that is a worse ideology, and some could argue fascism as well. I think you're stretching things a little. Calvinism is really bad, no doubt. But when I was an Evangelical (baptized Lutheran though,) who had Calvinist tendencies, I wasn't nearly as bad when I was a nihilistic militant atheist and Marxist Trotskyite. Seriously.

Just trying to play devil's advocate.
Perhaps you are right. I was maybe taking things a bit too far. The problem with calvinism is that it gives both believers and unbelievers a COMPLETELY wrong impression and view of who God is. And since knowing God is the most important thing of all, I think it is very dangerous to give such unacceptable characteristics to him as calvinism does. And it spiritually damages people, and can damage them for life. The same can be true of marxism and militant atheism though... But I don't know... A militant atheist... It is easier to be a militant atheist against the calvinist demiurge than against the true christian God. I seriously believe many militant atheists might be quite close to Christ, in the sense that many atheists actually CORRECTLY react against the false notions of God that has been preached and believed by delusional and seemingly hypocritical belief systems like calvinism. One of the other great problems I have with calvinism is that there seems to be no quest for truth, no search for truth in that belief system whatsoever. It is only about "How do I know I MYSELF am saved? I, I, I!". So basically, and especially in the american evangelical version of calvinism, it is only an obsession, a neurosis behind the whole system, based on to wishes: The wish to know that I MYSELF am saved. And the wish to prove that in the bible. They more often than not commit bibliolatry it seems to me. Where there is no quest for truth, where there is no search after God, there is neither God nor truth. Not matter how much you read the bible and believe yourself to be saved. I am not saying that there aren't calvinists who do sincerely believe in God or have a contact with God. What I am talking about is what seems to lie behind the belief system and its consequences.
 

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Alpha60 said:
I know many Calvinists who are virtuous and compassionate Christians, loving people.
I too have met such Calvinists, benefited from their love, and worshipped among them, especially when living in or visiting Sussex or Suffolk.
 

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David Young said:
Alpha60 said:
I know many Calvinists who are virtuous and compassionate Christians, loving people.
I too have met such Calvinists, benefited from their love, and worshipped among them, especially when living in or visiting Sussex or Suffolk.
I am certain there are. I am not attacking calvinists, even if a calvinist might take this as an attack against them. But I do not direct this towards persons or calvinists as such therefore. I am criticizing calvinism. Not calvinists. I do not accept the idea that anyone is predetermined to be damned and therefore born without any hope whatsoever because GOD wanted them to burn forever before they were born. It is an inhuman idea, and an unacceptable teaching. And a great insult to both God and humans.
 

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beebert said:
Calvinism ... is wrong in a blasphemous way on ... EVERYTHING.
A theological system that is wrong on everything is unlikely to attract people. Even the devil knows that, and mixes the sweetness and strength of elements of truth in his heresies. Not that I am saying Calvinism is a heresy: I am only saying that probably no heresy is wrong on everything. That's not how heresy works.
 

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beebert said:
Can we all affirm this?
Yes, along with Pentecostalism/Charismatism.  The days on which these systems of belief came into existence were dark days for Christianity and assured that there will never be Christian unity this side of the Parousia.
 

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David Young said:
beebert said:
Calvinism ... is wrong in a blasphemous way on ... EVERYTHING.
A theological system that is wrong on everything is unlikely to attract people. Even the devil knows that, and mixes the sweetness and strength of elements of truth in his heresies. Not that I am saying Calvinism is a heresy: I am only saying that probably no heresy is wrong on everything. That's not how heresy works.
Maybe it was wrong to say everything. The system does believe and accept that Jesus is the son of God for example. But it gives the completely wrong impression of who God and Jesus is it really seems to me... I don't mean to sound rude. But I find it oppressive and insulting and inhuman to claim that most people are predetermined BY GOD and born without any hope WHATSOEVER, born only to be tortured. That there are loving and compassionate calvinists has nothing to do with the belief system. There are compassionate and loving militant atheists and muslims as well. It is the belief system that the human race would have been better without. It is an insult to Christ to claim that he created people just to torture them forever. What an insult to his redemptive work... It is quite obvious to me that with the calvinistic world view, life is some sort of absurd theater show that came into existence just to satisfy the mix of feelings of anger, wrath, love, hate, glory and so on that a heavenly dictator and narcissist feels.
 

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beebert said:
the idea that anyone is predetermined to be damned and therefore born without any hope whatsoever
In Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, he wrote, "Decretum quidem horribile fateor." This I translate as, "The decree, I acknowledge, is certainly such as to make one shudder." Calvin felt constrained to believe this, but he did not do so in the spirit you suggest in your posts. It was, of course, this sentence from Calvin which led to the phrase "the horrible decree" being used in English to describe the decree of "double predestination" - that is, that some are predestined to salvation, and some to damnation. This is what enabled Charles Wesley to write, as part of a long piece of writing against Calvinism:

O Horrible Decree,
Worthy of whence it came!
Forgive their hellish Blasphemy
Who charge it on the Lamb:
Whose Pity him inclin'd
To leave his Throne above,
The Friend, and Saviour of Mankind,
The God of Grace, and Love.

Sinners, abhor the Fiend,
His other Gospel hear,
The God of Truth did not intend
The Thing his Words declare,
He offers Grace to All,
Which most cannot embrace
Mock'd with an ineffectual Call
And insufficient Grace.


Yet it seems to me that God in his mercy has been pleased to use Calvinists and Methodists in bringing many people to salvation.
 

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David Young said:
beebert said:
the idea that anyone is predetermined to be damned and therefore born without any hope whatsoever
In Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, he wrote, "Decretum quidem horribile fateor." This I translate as, "The decree, I acknowledge, is certainly such as to make one shudder." Calvin felt constrained to believe this, but he did not do so in the spirit you suggest in your posts. It was, of course, this sentence from Calvin which led to the phrase "the horrible decree" being used in English to describe the decree of "double predestination" - that is, that some are predestined to salvation, and some to damnation. This is what enabled Charles Wesley to write, as part of a long piece of writing against Calvinism:

O Horrible Decree,
Worthy of whence it came!
Forgive their hellish Blasphemy
Who charge it on the Lamb:
Whose Pity him inclin'd
To leave his Throne above,
The Friend, and Saviour of Mankind,
The God of Grace, and Love.

Sinners, abhor the Fiend,
His other Gospel hear,
The God of Truth did not intend
The Thing his Words declare,
He offers Grace to All,
Which most cannot embrace
Mock'd with an ineffectual Call
And insufficient Grace.


Yet it seems to me that God in his mercy has been pleased to use Calvinists and Methodists in bringing many people to salvation.
Calvin has a lot of blood on his conscience. That was the spirit I was talking about. The fact that he like the most unmerciful man killed people who broke his law. Who did he think he was to have the right to judge other's souls like that? That is the opposite of the spirit of Christ. Period. I liked the poem you quoted. And I am not denying that there might be saved calvinists and methodists(I didn't quite understand why you brought up methodism), that is not for me to judge. But the belief system is, in many ways, close to satanic. I don't care if Calvin realized his decree was horrible; he seems to have used it in order to justify the killing of a child for example. And that is an example when a belief system is valued higher than human beings. Isn't that pretty much what Christ criticized about the scribes?
 

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Antonious Nikolas said:
beebert said:
Can we all affirm this?
Yes, along with Pentecostalism/Charismatism.  The days on which these systems of belief came into existence were dark days for Christianity and assured that there will never be Christian unity this side of the Parousia.
I don't know that much about pentecostalism/charismatic christianity. But well... I guess there are many spiritually dangerous sects.
 

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beebert said:
I didn't quite understand why you brought up Methodism
I don't care if Calvin realized his decree was horrible
I brought up Methodism because Charles Wesley was "the first Methodist" (the title of a biography of him).
I meant that Calvin, writing in Latin, said that the decree makes you shudder, or the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The word has somewhat shifted in meaning in modern English usage. Wesley (I think) was making a rather clever pun by using Calvin's Latin word in its English meaning.
 

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I actually tend to agree with Beebart...Calvinism is a very wicked theological system in my opinion. Is it as bad as atheism? Perhaps not objectively (atheist worldviews such as Marxism has killed millions while America was founded and built by a lot of Calvinists). But the problem with Calvinism is that it stains all of Christianity, as the Calvinist worldview may be seen as the Christian worldview in the minds of many. Thus, it is a terrible heresy that likely drives many away from the faith.

Within Calvinism, there seems to be some (especially pastors and theologians) that are true believers in the theology. I honestly don't understand this, if I thought Calvinism was true I would simply crawl under a rock in despair. But I think many people in Calvinist denominations may not fully understand Calvinism or its implications for humanity.






 

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David Young said:
beebert said:
I didn't quite understand why you brought up Methodism
I don't care if Calvin realized his decree was horrible
I brought up Methodism because Charles Wesley was "the first Methodist" (the title of a biography of him).
I meant that Calvin, writing in Latin, said that the decree makes you shudder, or the hair stand up on the back of your neck. The word has somewhat shifted in meaning in modern English usage.
I see :)
Oh the system has certainly made me shudder. It has disgusted me at the core of my being and made me almost cry when I Walked around looking at People thinking that they are perhaps damned and born without Hope. Did not calvinism recognize the infinite worth of every human being? This horrible decree made it almost impossoble for me to Open the bible in months. It paralyzed my whole being and almost made me disgusted by God. Because I was Close to believing that this view of God was correct untill I now realized it is just utterly impossoble that it is true. I think it all starts with not realizing what eternal and eternity actually means.
 

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xOrthodox4Christx said:
Not to say Calvinism is the bees knees, but what about Marxism-Leninism? I think that is a worse ideology, and some could argue fascism as well. I think you're stretching things a little. Calvinism is really bad, no doubt. But when I was an Evangelical (baptized Lutheran though,) who had Calvinist tendencies, I wasn't nearly as bad when I was a nihilistic militant atheist and Marxist Trotskyite. Seriously.
The issue there is that Calvinism and Marxism-Leninism are religious and economic systems, respectively. So it's like comparing apples and oranges. It's true that commonly Marxism-Leninism suggested atheism, but it's not necessarily true. Marx faithfully went to synagogue in his older days, wore phylacteries, lit candles. I could give many more examples, but one could still qualify as adhering to the system while believing in God.

Calvinism on the other hand is a religious system that entails a certain Stoical spiritual and moral judgment made against the "unelect", and one could hold it while supporting any economic system from pre-1865 slavery to Abolitionism (Calvinists can be found severely divided on that issue).
 

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ttcmacro said:
I actually tend to agree with Beebart...Calvinism is a very wicked theological system in my opinion. Is it as bad as atheism? Perhaps not objectively (atheist worldviews such as Marxism has killed millions while America was founded and built by a lot of Calvinists). But the problem with Calvinism is that it stains all of Christianity, as the Calvinist worldview may be seen as the Christian worldview in the minds of many. Thus, it is a terrible heresy that likely drives many away from the faith.

Within Calvinism, there seems to be some (especially pastors and theologians) that are true believers in the theology. I honestly don't understand this, if I thought Calvinism was true I would simply crawl under a rock in despair. But I think many people in Calvinist denominations may not fully understand Calvinism or its implications for humanity.
I agree fully with all this. I think People need to have the courage to say the truth. If calvinism destroys the souls of many and prevents People from believing in Jesus, which which I am CERTAIN it does, then it needs to be adressed. It is just as important to pray for Another man's soul as for your own soul.
 

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The thing is, many of the ideas of Protestantism (sola scriptura, no real presence in the eucharist, icons/relics are forbidden, semi-nestorianism, strict predestination) had adherents in previous generations, and these ideas were dealt with in those earlier times. Some people in the later centuries knew of those answers that had been arrived at centuries before--if for no other reason than the theologians of their time reminded them--but these would-be Reformers did not find them persuasive and started promoting them again. Heresy is not a small issue, but it's also not something that should cause someone to go off 'into the weeds' due to anxiety. This stuff will pop up from time to time--St. Paul said so himself (1 Cor. 11:19). Assuming you reject certain of their ideas, there's nothing really to be feared with Calvin, Luther, the Wesleys, or John Hagee for that matter. They got some things right and some things wrong, and yeah some things really wrong; but most adherents under their umbrella are probably just well-meaning people trying to make it through life as best they can.
 

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Asteriktos said:
The thing is, many of the ideas of Protestantism (sola scriptura, no real presence in the eucharist, icons/relics are forbidden, semi-nestorianism, strict predestination) had adherents in previous generations, and these ideas were dealt with in those earlier times. Some people in the later centuries knew of those answers that had been arrived at centuries before--if for no other reason than the theologians of their time reminded them--but these would-be Reformers did not find them persuasive and started promoting them again. Heresy is not a small issue, but it's also not something that should cause someone to go off 'into the weeds' due to anxiety. Assuming you reject certain of their ideas, there's nothing really to be feared with Calvin, Luther, the Wesleys, or John Hagee for that matter. They got some things right and some things wrong, and yeah some things really wrong; but most adherents under their umbrella are probably just well-meaning people trying to make it through life as best they can.
You Are right. The problem is that I have been completely traumatized by the fact that I believed that almost that calvinism was true. With that kind of view of God, I honestly find it hard to see the difference between God and Satan. But now I have realized that the calvinist view of God is just so false. So false. And I am relieved. Still a bit traumatized though but I pray to God that with the help from him and his Church I Will be free from the spiritual damage that calvinism has caused.
 

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Both Calvinism and Arminianism are garbage, especially when taken to their furthest extremes.
 

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Marilynne Robinson has some good essays on John Calvin (Jean Cauvin) and his milieu, and their aftermath in Europe and America. I believe they've been published in 'The Death of Adam' collection. Anyway, he was a very intelligent young man, and moderate as far as Reformers go. My own take on him is that people of Early Modern times were looking for leadership, their world had been shattered by the Renaissance and the emergence of the nation-state, and his answers proved to be very popular and durable ones. His answers weren't strictly religious or intellectual, but political, cultural, economic. All else being equal, we wouldn't have the many successes of which the West is so proud without him, and the best of Western culture is owed to him and his followers, particularly such things as high regard for deliberation of facts and the practice of temperance amid wealth. Put more succinctly, he was the father of that new and very important institution, the middle class. Now, as Orthodox and therefore people with a longer view and a nuanced acceptance of the West, we can see that such successes have come with a good mixture of different kinds of evils. But we should also by the same tokens be less willing to paint the past as a poisonous caricature, even the parts of the past or persons in the past with which we disagree.
 

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Porter ODoran said:
their world had been shattered by the Renaissance and the emergence of the nation-state, and his answers proved to be very popular and durable ones. His answers weren't strictly religious or intellectual, but political, cultural, economic. All else being equal, we wouldn't have the many successes of which the West is so proud without him, and the best of Western culture is owed to him and his followers, particularly such things as high regard for deliberation of facts and the practice of temperance amid wealth. Put more succinctly, he was the father of that new and very important institution, the middle class.
Well, let's say that there had been no Calvinism, no Fundamentalism, and we only had traditional Protestantism like Lutheranism and Anglicanism, as well as their non-Calvinist descendants like Methodism, Arminianism and Quakerism. Would the societal benefits of Calvinist social changes that you describe have been absent?

It seems more likely that we are talking about general Protestant social corollaries, rather than particularly Calvinist societal benefits.
 

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rakovsky said:
Porter ODoran said:
their world had been shattered by the Renaissance and the emergence of the nation-state, and his answers proved to be very popular and durable ones. His answers weren't strictly religious or intellectual, but political, cultural, economic. All else being equal, we wouldn't have the many successes of which the West is so proud without him, and the best of Western culture is owed to him and his followers, particularly such things as high regard for deliberation of facts and the practice of temperance amid wealth. Put more succinctly, he was the father of that new and very important institution, the middle class.
Well, let's say that there had been no Calvinism, no Fundamentalism, and we only had traditional Protestantism like Lutheranism and Anglicanism, as well as their non-Calvinist descendants like Methodism, Arminianism and Quakerism. Would the societal benefits of Calvinist social changes that you describe have been absent?

It seems more likely that we are talking about general Protestant social corollaries, rather than particularly Calvinist societal benefits.
There's not much coherent in here. There's no way to abstract Reformed thought out of the Reformation. The Reformed Church was arguably the most successful branch of the Reformation, making great inroads in Lutheran territories, and having a large influence throughout Europe and the UK. From another viewpoint, all the major Reformers had more in common than they had not -- whichever thesis of Calvin's you want to isolate and exaggerate -- let's say, predestination -- even then you'll find his intellectual forbears and contemporaries agreed more than the did not. Arminianism was a reaction, Quakerism was a radical reaction, Wesley was just a thorough modern who saw orthodoxy and heresy and the in-between as an enjoyable spiritual buffet. American "Fundamentalism" has no particular ties to Reformed churches here; the Baptists have always been the largest participant, and they are almost entirely "Free Will." Here's an ironic side-note: Without stereotypical Calvinist predestination, Free Will Baptists may never have landed on their late invention of Once Saved Always Saved.
 

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I think Calvinism is certainly a misapprehension of the goodness of God.

But frankly, there are dozens of Calvinisms, some of which are wrath provoking (e.g. the double-determination of dead infants bafflingly preached over my grandfather's coffin by a Primitive Baptist), and others that are still wrong but essentially good-hearted (e.g.the eschatological Calvinism that holds to post-millenialism in order that the majority of mankind will be saved).

I mean, which Calvinism do you want to take on? The Old School Baptists? Hiedelburg? Westminster? Westminster-lite? Neo-Calvinism? YRR? Van Til? Seven-point Calvinism? Whatever the heck the Evangelical Presbyterians are?
 

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Alxandra said:
Yes and so focus all your energy and attention on Orthodoxy, and leave the false Calvinism alone. Its very good you know it is false, it would be good to move on and give it no more of your time or thought :)

Of course its very good if anyone asked you in the future and you state it is false, or help others in their struggle out of it, but otherwise it would be best to not give it anymore place in your heart.
I agree. 

In my case, I try to love Calvinists; I even respect many as Christians, even though I consider aspects of their theology to be fundamentally flawed.  For example, I was a great admirer of the late Rev. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, who I once saw preach.

The core message was traditional Christianity; he was perhaps too political on occasion, but he published a very interesting booklet on cults which was my first introduction to heresiology.

There have been I think many Presbyterian ministers and laity who have been exemplary Christians.  Let's love them and work to unite them with us, while gently explaining the rationale behind the Synod of Dositheus rejecting Calvinism as heretical in 1672.

I am much more opposed to John Calvin and certain early Calvinists who created a schism with both Rome and the Lutherans, than I am opposed to most modern Calvinists, who strike me as being generally good Christians who happen to be in error on the subject of modernism.

You are so full of love Alexandra; I am so glad you found a husband and I pray for blessings for you and your husband, and the success of your marriage and your family.  We are blessed to have you on OCNet.
 

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Agabus said:
I think Calvinism is certainly a misapprehension of the goodness of God.

But frankly, there are dozens of Calvinisms, some of which are wrath provoking (e.g. the double-determination of dead infants bafflingly preached over my grandfather's coffin by a Primitive Baptist), and others that are still wrong but essentially good-hearted (e.g.the eschatological Calvinism that holds to post-millenialism in order that the majority of mankind will be saved).

I mean, which Calvinism do you want to take on? The Old School Baptists? Hiedelburg? Westminster? Westminster-lite? Neo-Calvinism? YRR? Van Til? Seven-point Calvinism? Whatever the heck the Evangelical Presbyterians are?
I can see how at your grandfather's funeral that could be deeply distressing.  Out of curiosity, without wanting to recall bad memories, but rather perhaps to see if he meant well, do you think he was trying to make the point that because your grandfather had died baptized in the Church as an old man that he was therefore surely among the Elect, whereas the unfortunate infants in contrast were not?

Not trying to apologize for him by the way; that is dreadful and the kind of frustrating, blassee, insensitive remark that a poorly trained "preacher" at a Primitive Baptist church or certain other fundamentalist Calvinist churches is likely to make.  A lot of them are not well educated or well formed in preparation for the ministry (occasionally one even encounters non-denominational Calvinists or Baptist Calvinists opposed to seminaries and ordination beyond a certain mininmal level).

May your grandfather's memory be eternal.

I was recently severely distressed by the way by a remark an atheist relative made after I was casually informed that my beloved great aunt and uncle had died in the previous year.
 

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David Young said:
Alpha60 said:
I know many Calvinists who are virtuous and compassionate Christians, loving people.
I too have met such Calvinists, benefited from their love, and worshipped among them, especially when living in or visiting Sussex or Suffolk.
Indeed so.  I like Sussex.  :)

I hope, Fr, that you have also had the chance to visit and worship with loving, virtuous and compassionate Christians of the Orthodox persuasion.

When I am next in the UK, which I hope will be soon, I would love to have lunch with you if I am in your neck of the woods, and perhaps go exploring some of the beautiful historical churches in your area.  One thing I havent done in the UK that I regret is to visit all of the interesting and historic churches in London, especially those in the City (many of which are nearly disused due to the City becoming mainly a financial area).
 
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Luther called Calvin a fanatic.  I am inclined to agree.  Luther's main issue was Calvin's denial of the Real Presence.  But it amazes me how different the theologies of Luther and Calvin are.  (not that I read much Calvin beyond googling TULIP once in a while, which is about all I need to know)  TULIP is bloodchilling.  I agree though that the Calvinists are in many ways the most successful godparents of modern day Protestantism (for what that is worth), at least in terms of numbers - you can include most Evangelical (traditional leaning, ie 'fundamentalist') Churches here, Baptists.  I avoid Calvin like the plague.
 

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Jude1:3 said:
Both Calvinism and Arminianism are garbage, especially when taken to their furthest extremes.
Regarding Arminianism, how do you figure?

As far as I can tell, Arminius basically reintroduced into the West something equivalent to the Orthodox idea of human/divine synergy, striking a blow against the monergism which was implicit even in Lutheranism and also slowly encroaching upon Catholicism via the Jensenist movement (which was fortunately suppressed, but which could have, had it succeeded, led Roman Catholicism to teach monergism).

From Arminius, we get John Wesley and a host of other Protestants, including many high church Anglicans, who moved Protestantism much closer to Orthodoxy than it had been, and a serious challenge to Calvinism, which until that point had been the main intellectual force in the Reformation (outside of Lutheranism, which itself is almost but not quite monergistic).

You are Orthodox, right?

I am sure that strictly speaking by the way we would find errors or poor expressions of soteriology in Arminius, but I see him as nonetheless moving much closer to Orthodoxy than any Protestants before him, and enabling John Wesley, whose soteriology was as close to Orthodox theosis as anyone in the West came (diverging mainly to the extent Wesley was at best indifferent to icons, which are of supreme soteriological importance, and also believed in Sola Fide, at least to the extent that it was the trigger or event by which the process of Entire Sanctification could begin).
 

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David Young said:
beebert said:
Calvinism ... is wrong in a blasphemous way on ... EVERYTHING.
A theological system that is wrong on everything is unlikely to attract people. Even the devil knows that, and mixes the sweetness and strength of elements of truth in his heresies. Not that I am saying Calvinism is a heresy: I am only saying that probably no heresy is wrong on everything. That's not how heresy works.
Wisdom.  This is very true.

I believe however that God thwarts the devil by exploiting his own failures on this part; because no heresy is wrong on everything, most belief systems, if not all, teach at least some virtue, and this is especially the case in Christianity, so that religion as a whole and religious piety are in and of themselves beneficial even if misdirected (I have met pious and loving Sikhs, Bahais, Hindus and even Muslims).

That being said, I am not transcendtalist, I reject outright the idea so popular among religious liberals that all religions are somehow paths to God and salvation, just to be clear; I believe all who are saved are saved by our Lord Jesus Christ, and the safest way of pursuing salvation is to join His Church (which I personally believe to be the Orthodox Church).
 

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Do some Calvinists owe you money or something? 

Whom will your vitriol victimize tomorrow?  THe Jehovah's Witnesses?  Mormons?  The guy who runs the B&B next door? 

Just stop.
 

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scamandrius said:
Do some Calvinists owe you money or something? 

Whom will your vitriol victimize tomorrow? 
Beebert,

You will find a lot of common ground with scamandrius if your vitriol victimises scamandrius' parish priest.  Just a humble suggestion. 
 

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scamandrius said:
Do some Calvinists owe you money or something? 

Whom will your vitriol victimize tomorrow?  THe Jehovah's Witnesses?  Mormons?  The guy who runs the B&B next door? 

Just stop.
I see it as a massive problem when People preach that God is hate basicslly and prevent others from Coming to faith by making God look like a narcissist and sado-massochist. But sure I can stop. But I see calvinism as an expression of injustice and opression.
 

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scamandrius said:
Do some Calvinists owe you money or something? 

Whom will your vitriol victimize tomorrow?  THe Jehovah's Witnesses?  Mormons?  The guy who runs the B&B next door? 

Just stop.
And once again I am not attacking calvinists but calvinism.I find it stunning, especially when 95 percent of all Christians Believe in eternal hell, that People do not react more when people and belief systems paint a Picture of God that is so repulsing that everyone with a conscience would react. It is, I repeat, an offense against both God and man. And it keeps People away from the gospel. So... in a way a theology like calvinism becames a self-fullfilling thing; many People turn away from the gospel because they hear that God is in the way described by calvinism, and as a consequence, most Christians would draw the conclusion that these people Will be damned So, indirectly, wrong theologies damn people. Calvinism damns the majority of mankind in its very doctrine, it is one of its major beliefs. And as a consequence People turn away from the gospel and become damned! OF COURSE this must be adressed. I am not bitter. I am worried and saddened and yes, I admit, angered,  by the immense inhumanity in this.

Just listen: "The Gospel. That is, the happy news (which it basically means) is here! And the gospel is this! God hates the majority of mankind and Will torture them forever no matter what you do! He made that decision to satisfy his vainglory before the foundation of the world! But take heart! A few of view God has predestined to be saved from his wrath over the original sin which he originally wanted should come in to existence so that he could show his creatures his wrath and his glory and forgiveness to a fee elected. He sent his own son to the world to satisfy his own wrath on him because he needed someone to die so that he could forgive his few chosen ones that he Had predestined before the foundation of the world despite their actions. They Will enjoy his glory forever to satisfy his own vainglory! But the rest of you are filthy sinners born without any hope. God planned this and created you that way just to destroy you for his own glory! Go to the eternal fire of unspeakable suffering! That is what you were created for! We Will enjoy heaven! And one of the pleassures of heaven Will be to watch the torments of the damned!"

Yes... That is what the calvinist gospel sounds like to me. And if that does repel people then I fully understand it.
 

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Ever been with a Calvinist hooker?  Utterly depraved.
 
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